HARRISBURG – Applications are now being accepted for a tax credit program intended to support Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry by helping new farmers get established, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), who supported the legislation that created the initiative.
The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program created by Senate Bill 478 (Act 65 of 2019) provides an incentive to landowners who lease or sell their land, buildings and equipment to beginning farmers. Landowners will receive a one-time personal income tax credit for the sale or a multi-year lease of property. The legislation requires all leases be enforced through written agreements and that the sale of property be for fair market value in order to qualify for the tax credit.
“I have heard many times that the top challenge facing new farmers is finding affordable farmland,” Senator Yaw said, who grew up on his family’s farm in Cascade Township, Lycoming County. “The tax credits provided under this new program will reward landowners who help new farmers get started. None of our neighboring states offer a similar tax credit program, so this is a great way to show the agriculture community that Pennsylvania is open for business.”
“For every farmer under the age of 35 in Pennsylvania there are four farmers over the age of 65,” Sen. Yaw added. “Of the 7.7 million acres of farmland across Pennsylvania, 41 percent is managed by a farmer 55 years of age or older and 11 percent of that land is expected to transfer in the next five years.”
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), in coordination with the Departments of Agriculture and Revenue, will allocate up to $5 million in tax year 2020, and up to $6 million annually through the 2030 tax year for credits.
Beginning farmers must meet eligibility criteria. Applications for certification, which are evaluated by the Department of Agriculture, can be found on the department’s website, agriculture.pa.gov. Applications for the tax credit can be filed at esa.dced.state.pa.us. Complete program guidelines, eligibility, and application instructions can be found on DCED’s website, dced.pa.gov.
For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com, or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.
Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff